Pilot project by the Public Interest Journalism Lab, a joint interdisciplinary project by Ukrainian and British journalists and sociologists, with contributions from the Arena Initiative, the Lviv Media Forum and the Kharkiv Institute of Social Research, which aims to develop editorial and information strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Authors: Igor Balynskyi, Nataliya Gumenyuk, Denys Kobzin, Angelina Kariakina, Peter Pomerantsev.

The report was prepared with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation within the framework of the project "Humanity and mutual cooperation". The material reflects the position of the authors and does not necessarily coincide with the position of the International Renaissance Foundation.
the aim
The aims of the study are to better understand Ukrainian citizens' attitudes towards the COVID-19 pandemic, to study the way society consolidates itself in the fight against it, to analyse the influence videos of a particular theme have on the audience, as well as to decipher the audience's concerns, by looking at which types of content they trust and whether this content relieves their anxiety. .
The hypothesis
The research hypothesis was based on the assumption that stories about mutual assistance and solidarity, that commonly arise when people live through an unprecedented crisis, can evoke positive emotions,
and re-establish a sense of control over a situation and the desire to
act proactively instead of being overcome by anxiety, confusion and hopelessness.
The team created 5 original videos based on the "constructive journalism" approach, and analysed audience reactions to them.

Video stories were streamed at "Suspilne TV" - first Ukrainian Public Broadcaster and its digital platforms.
Watch the 5 video stories about designers, who sew clothes for doctors; services of free stays at local hotels for doctors; how volunteers are helping elderly during quarantine and ambulances, and startups who started production of protective equipment for Ukrainian medics.
The research methodology was developed in collaboration with experts" from the Arena Initiative together with sociologists at the Kharkiv Institute of Social Research. The latter collected and analysed primary data.
Throughout late April and early
May 2020, 30 in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted,
both remotely and face-to-face.

The use of interviews made it possible
to obtain more detailed data on perceptions of COVID-19 coverage in
the media, to study the existing attitudes, motives, expectations and patterns of human behaviour during an epidemic, and to test interview participants' responses to the media content created by the project.

Participants were chosen according to region (6 from each of the north, south, east and west of Ukraine, as well as from Kyiv and the Kyiv region), with an equal representation of men and women, and of different age groups, divided into young (up to 35 years old), middle-aged (36-59 years old) or elderly (60+ years).
The chosen method and results collected allowed for an in-depth analysis of the various individual responses.

However, due to the small sample size of this study, caution should be exercised when drawing generalisations and conclusions on the different age and regional groups in Ukraine.

These people are inspiring. They show that things can be done and should be done. There are positive emotions. I think that this should be shown on television as
it can set an example. It remains in one's mind and can be developed.
It gives one hope that we still have people like this, that not everything is lost, and that anything can be good and will be good.

Research participant
Based on the results of the study, we propose a range of conclusions and recommendations not only for the media, but for any other organisation and institution whose work concerns discussions around the COVID-19 pandemic. While some of the conclusions may appear to be obvious standards of good-quality journalism, it is nonetheless worth noting that they are confirmed by the participants' responses.